Breadvan_update_044: Coachbuilding the Breadvan Hommage
One-off car body
Inserting the air vents in the side panels is difficult. Therefore, if the coachbuilder of the Breadvan Hommage doesn’t do this properly, the entire panel becomes twisted and warped. Flat sheets of aluminium are made into sweeping lines. The work is based on our design sketches. Consequently, together we continuously discuss how to make the car look best. How does the light react on the surface transitions? Which design feature makes the design even stronger? How can we integrate subtle features into the body work? The hands of the coachbuilder will make flat plates into beautiful three-dimensional surfaces. All shapes combined will form the Breadvan Hommage. Through stretching, shrinking and bending the coachbuilder can achieve all complex curves. The coachbuilder in fact “grows” the plate into the right shape.
Coachbuilding the Breadvan Hommage
For each and every panel for our Breadvan Hommage coachbuilder Bas van Roomen starts with a flat plate of aluminium. He starts with roughly giving this sheet the correct contour. After cutting the sheet, Bas can bend, shrink or stretch the aluminium. After meticulously planning every step of the way, he sticks to a strict plan. Because each action is followed by a reaction. The right volumes should be applied. This is done with power tools. Or by hand with hammers on a sandbag. However, actually everything is made entirely by hand. Coachbuilding is manually manipulating the shapes of our exclusive motorcar into shape – using power tools or hammers. On the photos the fine tuning of the surfacing can be seen. Both designing a tailored and making it is an iterative process.
By making a sheet thinner and larger locally, a voluminously shaped element is constructed. Bas uses a Schuler, made in 1946. This is a German machine. Made with the same type of wheel is a record car for Auto Union. The Powerhammer is another important tool. It does exactly what it says on the tin: this powered hammer can hit the metal at very high speeds. The impact is so strong metal stretches quickly. The Nibble machine is a device which can both cut and form all kinds of details. The coachbuilder can even design and make his own tools for this machine. It gives him the desired freedom to shape the exact specifics items, needed for each project. Subtle lines running over the panels. The English wheel bent these into the material. We’re not there yet. Fine fine tuning of all body parts is still a lot of work.